Child wants a career in music

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
What would you say to your child today if they told you they wanted to make music their career? Knowing how tough it is to make it these days. Knowing what you do now about life, making the rent or mortgage, paying bills, insurance, keeping food on the table, etc.

Honestly if my child told me that, I'd tell them to go for it now while they are still young and single, little or no bills to pay, etc. but to have a plan and a drop date - if they don't have success by a certain age or date, move on to "Plan B", so to speak (college, university, trade school, good day job, etc.). Mind you supporting them with their dreams and not discouraging them, but also injecting the "realities of life" advice.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
I'd say buy him a book called "The Way of the Peaceful Warrior" by Dan Millman. If you're going to survive in this business then you'll need to prepare for the hard times. It's not easy, but I wouldn't do anything else.

If my kid wants to do it, I'm OK with it but then again, he has me to help him along.

My fear for him has always been that he will not challenge himself enough. Music will drag out of you things you did not know you had.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
...I'd tell them to go for it now while they are still young and single, little or no bills to pay, etc. but to have a plan and a drop date - if they don't have success by a certain age or date, move on to "Plan B"...
It's a good idea to encourage someone to try it while they can, and a backup plan is always a good idea. But be careful about putting the idea in their head that there's a time limit on achieving success, because they could miss the kind of opportunities that don't always come to younger players. At worst, they may miss out on casual playing just for fun. All of a sudden when they're 55, they wake up and regret not touching the drums in 30 years.

Bermuda
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Tough call. I'd want to talk them out of it, but I'd also want to give total encouragement to follow their dreams.

But unlike so many stories you hear where someone's parents said "don't do it" based on assumptions, I could at least explain it from the point of view of someone who's been there and got the the t-shirt.

But who knows where music will be in another 10-15 years.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
What would you say to your child today if they told you they wanted to make music their career? Knowing how tough it is to make it these days. Knowing what you do now about life, making the rent or mortgage, paying bills, insurance, keeping food on the table, etc.

Honestly if my child told me that, I'd tell them to go for it now while they are still young and single, little or no bills to pay, etc. but to have a plan and a drop date - if they don't have success by a certain age or date, move on to "Plan B", so to speak (college, university, trade school, good day job, etc.). Mind you supporting them with their dreams and not discouraging them, but also injecting the "realities of life" advice.
I think that's all you can do. If you discourage them, they'll pursue it despite you. If you encourage them, you haven't really set a date on when Plan B should go into effect. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I think discussing what 'success' is would be a good discussion. Of course, they see American Idol and big pop stars acting like idiots, but maybe getting it into their heads that just being able to pay your way with music is a good enough success story to aim for. You're helping to set a goal using a workman's ethic - discussing what they would need to live, and how to go about making their art pay for that?
 
Will Smith was asked once "if the rap thing had not turned out like it did, what was your plan b?" I loved his response. "There was no plan b. Having a plan b is giving yourself permission to fail".

Having said that, my brother is in theatre. He has stuck it out since high school. He does it because he likes it. In technical terms he is a professional (has gotten paid for it and has a recurring gig as the Big Bopper in "Buddy" the Buddy Holley storey. Does it pay his bills? no. But again, he does it because he likes it. As long as that is ones motivation one can not go wrong.
 

Skitch

Pioneer Member
What would you say to your child today if they told you they wanted to make music their career? Knowing how tough it is to make it these days. Knowing what you do now about life, making the rent or mortgage, paying bills, insurance, keeping food on the table, etc.

Honestly if my child told me that, I'd tell them to go for it now while they are still young and single, little or no bills to pay, etc. but to have a plan and a drop date - if they don't have success by a certain age or date, move on to "Plan B", so to speak (college, university, trade school, good day job, etc.). Mind you supporting them with their dreams and not discouraging them, but also injecting the "realities of life" advice.
Here is my take:

I would say to let the child go for and see if he has the drive and ambition. This means that the love of music almost requires an exorcism. Private, in-person lessons, school band and learning all of the little things like reading music, transcribing and knowing an instrument besides their favorite. If drums are the passion, then learning piano or guitar would be mandatory. Why? Ask Gary Husband, drummer for Level 42 and Keyboard player for Alan Holdsworth.


The point would be to encourage until the child either says enough or is ready for the next level, and that readiness will be obvious. Rogue, your state of Texas high school music programs make everywhere else look like a joke! You also live near what I refer to as the OU Football School of Music – University of North Texas in Denton. The importance of picking a MUSIC school should be apparent. However, when you look at UNT’s alums – Gregg Bisonette, Paul Leim, Rich Redmond, John Riley and Dan Wojekowski – they have that connection of a fraternity of surviving one of the toughest music schools in the world.

Bermuda might back me up on the golden age of recording in LA. Vinnie Colauita, Abe Laboriel, John Robinson and Neil Stubbenhaus all went to Berkeley school of Music in Boston and either knew each other or knew of each other which helped them land work over Joe Shmoe from Nebraska, who, although he might be a great player, just didn’t have all of the connections the aforementioned did.


Another importance of choosing a music school is all of the business side of music information that the students learn through either formal instruction or instructors passing on life experiences. Most all of that I had to learn, and still am, on my own. Do your taxes already?

Yes, Gregg Bisonette was in the marching band at UNT…….

Having a Plan B before allowing Plan A to even have a chance is just setting someone up for failure. Let them weed themselves out. A friend of mine thought that he was going to be a dentist. One day he was working on a cadaver and decided that he would rather be a high school principle instead. Both are honorable professions. As is being an excellent plumber!


And this is the most important point….many people in the music business wander around looking for others to acknowledge their talent which is a mistake. Being in the music business requires constant self -assessment and attention to skill level. You know you either have the talent to succeed or not. And speaking of talent, I remember a quote from none other than Neil Peart himself “There are no failures in talent; only failures of character.” – Modern Drummer, April 1984, Page 47.

I’m not trying to tell anyone off here or sound like a know-it-all. This is an important subject.


Mike

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Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
1) Support goes a long way in inspiring people to achieve te Impossible.

2) If this is a persons true path there is no way to not follow it and be happy in life.


I'd give them support and give then a clear picture of how things work and what it actually takes.
 

Dave_Major

Silver Member
Support definately and constantly.

I also agree with not having a plan b (ar at least remove the time limit) Setting up for failure and creates and excuse culture.

Also what is success? I did this pretty early on in my musical career journey and defined it as paying my bills and lving solely off music.

7 years later I haven't had an employer and have paid all my bills, rent etc never missed a loan payment etc.

It is hard to make a living doing this or any artistic endeavour but it is ultimately rewarding to the highest degree.

I get to play, teach and record music for a living. Nothing better!

D
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
Tough one... Depends on what the end goal is and what they want to do with it. I'm totally not in favor of it for many personal reasons.

That being said, going to school for anything these days for a non-music profession leaves the potential for a life of unhappiness in career, unemployed or underemployed.

These possible end results are not any where near exclusive to selecting music as a profession. Corporate world can, and in some cases does, suck just as much - if not more.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
My kids are probably past that point now but had they said this I would have encouraged them as much as I could.

My father never encouraged me to do anything. Go to college, play drums, literally anything in my life. All he ever wanted for me was the same crappy deal he got.

I resent him massively for it and would hate to think of my kids feeling the way about me that I do about him.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
. "There was no plan b. Having a plan b is giving yourself permission to fail".
.
And this would be my reply to Will, should he spout such commentary in my direction.
(Not meaning to single you out here mate. Just using the quote you provided to have a dip back at Will. .:))


What a romanticised crock of shite.

Having a "plan B" is not giving you permission to fail. It's providing more than one avenue for success. It's called keeping your options open. Something that every single human being should be willing to do in order to stave off starvation and extinction.

Where I come from providing yourself with options is the smart play. Far smarter than ploughing ahead, blissfully ignorant and naively unaware, into the full face of failure. Where the hell is that gonna get you? There's no nobility in poverty. Nor is it "brave" to be so unwavering in your approach that you fail to provide for yourself or your family.

Despite what romantic bullshit some artist may spout from behind the safety net of his multi million dollar bank balance. If the "rap thing" hadn't worked out, you wouldn't be lying broke in a gutter, too proud to rethink your approach, yet staunch in the knowledge that you didn't bother with a plan B......of that I'm convinced. So I think it's worth delving deeper into a line that I see as little more than a throw away. Something to say to the masses because it sounds cool, convincing and somewhat committed to the cause.

Allowing yourself options doesn't mean "giving up" or "selling out the dream"....not by any measure. It means being smart enough to identify that you need to change tack. that your current approach is little more than a fools errand that's destined to see you fast tracked to the poor house......or oblivion. Go hard by all means......have at it with all your heart.......just be smart enough to know when you're butting that brick wall, that it ain't gonna move for you. YOU have to move around it. That's when you start thinking about your plan B, Will.

Whether it be music, medicine or mechanics, anyone who is too stubborn or too stupid to realise that they can change direction.......adapt, rethink their choices and overcome their circumstances in order to move forward is the one who is really giving themselves permission to fail. I'm willing to stake my claim to it.

It doesn't have to mean "giving up"....not at all. It means being smart enough to know you need to employ your other options........time to bring out your "plan B" if you will.

Anyway, they're my thoughts on the matter. If Will were really here, I'd be happy for him to read it as is. I wouldn't change a thing.
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
rouge your from Texas, take off your belt and hit the kid with the giant, oversized cowboy belt buckle!! haha if there was a way to determine the future where would the fun be I the journey. if they show an interest, get them lessons and help out the best you can.
 

Nour Ayasso

Senior Member
What would you say to your child today if they told you they wanted to make music their career? Knowing how tough it is to make it these days. Knowing what you do now about life, making the rent or mortgage, paying bills, insurance, keeping food on the table, etc.

Honestly if my child told me that, I'd tell them to go for it now while they are still young and single, little or no bills to pay, etc. but to have a plan and a drop date - if they don't have success by a certain age or date, move on to "Plan B", so to speak (college, university, trade school, good day job, etc.). Mind you supporting them with their dreams and not discouraging them, but also injecting the "realities of life" advice.
Tell them to do both.
 

picodon

Silver Member
"Having a plan B is giving yourself permission to fail" - said the guy who jumped out of a plane without a parachute. And... he failed. :-S
 

Mark_S

Silver Member
If I could go back and do it all again, I would try and make music my career, whether being a session musician playing drums or playing something else in a professional orchestra. As it is, music is my hobby and I devote as much time to it as work will allow.

You may as well go for it while you are young. I think when you are a bit older, it is much easier to get into another professional than it is to get into music. If it doesn't work out, you at least know that you gave it one hell of a try.

That's just my take on it; I'm far from wise given all the mistakes I've made! I think a person has to make their own mind up and cannot blame anyone else.

Basically, if I had a child that wanted a career in music I'd help out any way I could.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I don't get this whole plan B sets you up for failure thing. Having something to fall back on in no way discourages someone from following their dream. For some of us the dream is not what we thought it was going to be, and are lucky to have other options to explore. Not having a plan B sets you up for failure if plan A is decidedly not what you really want to do with your life.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Will Smith was asked once "if the rap thing had not turned out like it did, what was your plan b?" I loved his response. "There was no plan b. Having a plan b is giving yourself permission to fail".

Having said that, my brother is in theatre. He has stuck it out since high school. He does it because he likes it. In technical terms he is a professional (has gotten paid for it and has a recurring gig as the Big Bopper in "Buddy" the Buddy Holley storey. Does it pay his bills? no. But again, he does it because he likes it. As long as that is ones motivation one can not go wrong.
Then,,what exactly pays his bills then?Having a plan B is giving yourself permission to fail?That's just supercilious B.S.,that people say,when they actually DID make it.

Lots of us love playing music,but having a plan B,and C if necessary,is just smart.How many success stories out there,have resulted in a fall from grace.How may pro musicians are now selling used cars or insurance?More than you'd like to count.

Bobby Sherman,teen idol,recording artist,and actor who had a hit TV show,eventually,became a LAPD officer.Plan B

.Myron Grombacher,drummer for Pat Benitar is now a car salesman.The list goes on and on.

Having a plan B is giving yourself permission to fail?Having a plan B is giving yourself permission to..... succeed....... in life.

Steve B
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
Then,,what exactly pays his bills then?Having a plan B is giving yourself permission to fail?That's just supercilious B.S.,that people say,when they actually DID make it.

Lots of us love playing music,but having a plan B,and C if necessary,is just smart.How many success stories out there,have resulted in a fall from grace.How may pro musicians are now selling used cars or insurance?More than you'd like to count.

Bobby Sherman,teen idol,recording artist,and actor who had a hit TV show,eventually,became a LAPD officer.Plan B

.Myron Grombacher,drummer for Pat Benitar is now a car salesman.The list goes on and on.

Having a plan B is giving yourself permission to fail?Having a plan B is giving yourself permission to..... succeed....... in life.

Steve B

Most people who have a "plan B to fall back on".... usually end up "falling back on it". That being said, I had no plan B and when it came down to making more money when the gigs began to get thin, I taught myself how to build websites and that's how I reached a "plan B".

The upside is that my "plan B" is geared towards helping those who are in the arts and need help with this crazy thing called the internet. Many artists are clueless. about what it takes to get their stuff out on the waves and it's my intent to help them.

I just make this life up as it goes along.
 

BFrench501

Senior Member
I never had any support from my parents to go to music college as they associated that with dossing around. So I have been sucked in to the corporate lifestyle which I hate.

I would support my children with anything they want to do, heck if my daughter wanted to be a princess I'd find a way to set her up with Prince Harry if it was something I could do :)

My wifes side of the family have strong musical pedigree and I love my drumming and guitar so they will fall into music somehow, but they have to be prepared to do the hard work as well as the nice playing along to stuff.

I disagree with the Plan B failing lark too, but I would say to them to get a Plan B that involves music somehow, even if it was working their way up in HMV to be a manager, they are in music somehow. Of course I'd rather them do something like be a music teacher at school or be involved in marketing/promotion etc but lots of different avenues they can go down.

I'm saving now and using the money Im starting to get from cover band gigs so I can really give my kids the future they want for themselves. I want them to have what I never did and they can go for it if thats what they want.
 
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